From the article: How to Interpret Abstract Art
What does abstract art mean and how do you begin to understand it? Does abstract art have any meaning, or is it all about the pleasing arrangement of colors and shapes? Do artists paint abstracts because they haven't the skills to do realism? Or is eliminating a recognizable subject the ultimate form of artistic expression? Share your views on creating and understanding abstract art here. Your Views on Abstracts
All Art Abstract
- Any kind of created image is abstract to me especially that of a painter or sculptor. You will never see a real woman who looks like a Divinci woman or a real landscape that looks like a Gainsborough. Although these paintings "convey" reality; they don't look like "true" reality. In my own journey with art, I've found a broken bottle can look like diamonds glittering in the sun, patterns of colors on fall leaves look like someone took varying colors of paint and spattered them with abstract designs and that shadows are often shades of colors. Art is an abstract idea in itself, the ability to convey to canvas or whatever medium used by an artist the "idea" of a place or thing. In my own art I use a mixture of so called "real" images along with the purely abstract to convey a thought or feeling or idea. It's amazing just to create anything, everything with whatever is there to work with.
- —Guest Gail Mansel
- Abstract art is like all the greatest games, there is a perfect balance of randomness and skill. The perfect balance between man and nature. If sculpting, the clay will suggest the shape to the sculptor who will in turn follow this shape using his or her unique style and technique. Same goes for paint. This balance of chance and skill is what makes abstract art so appealing and entertaining; just like a game of poker. Abstract art is a controlled accident.
- —Guest Volka Dale
No Need for Representational Art
- There is no longer any NEED for representational art, since we have photography. Representational art isn't art at ALL, it shows no creativity, no reflection, and no soul. It's glorified paint-by-numbers. It HAD a need in a pre-photography world, to document people and places, but no longer. In fact, even photography has grown beyond the single purpose of ONLY representing the 'apparent'. I myself do both abstract photography and abstract acrylic painting.
- When I was a child my parents and family always tried to structure me, put me in a box. As a result I grew completely out of touch with my creative side which eventually affected my health. I had a major break in consciousness and, out of that break, I began to paint again, not just abstract but whatever came out of that deep subconscious. In my opinion, art cannot be manufactured or structured, it is either inside of us or not. Art is organic and unless someone is born with afflictions, we all start out on equal footing. The mind is a muscle and unless it is primed and used it becomes atrophied. Art is that mind, art is that breath of freedom, a voice, a way out.
- —Guest osiris munir
For Me, Abstract Art is Like Freedom
- I am trained as a fine artist. In the process of doing realist paintings I have realized that I am restricted within the frame work of rules and regulations laid by the realistic art. Later I have broken my strings and came out to a free world where I am free, my thoughts are free, my emotions are free. I am no more bound by any rules. What else does an artist need? I have felt many times that I am out of a prison where I was sentenced for life....I feel like a bird in the sky and not a kite.. Abstract art is the art for modern world today and tomorrow. Focus on it.
- As a newbie I find doing abstract art is very beneficial in learning how to work the paint, finding out how to mix colors and work on composition without worrying about realism.
All Art is Abstract
- I agree with Starrpoint, art is an effort to communicate. Abstract art is a hard subject because people want to understand the communication from the artist and when they don't they might come to the conclusion that it isn't art. So you come to ask yourself whether art is made by the artist alone or also by the beholder in a way.
- —Guest Steve Jones
Love it or make do with it.
- Love it or make something of it. It may be eye catching or eye burning. As long as the eye sees something, good, bad, love, or discusting, anything that requires a response.
- —Guest lawman
It takes courage to appreciate it....
- Before I started painting I scoffed at abstract art. I was one of those "my cat can do that" believers I decided to take an abstract class. I was humbled by my arrogance. After you paint onto the canvas it can be very difficult to "mess it up" ( which is pretty much required) and then "resolve" it. You never have to resolve a tree, an apple, a flower. Abscrate art requires the ability to suspend reality and trust your intuition. It also takes courage to " get it" when you are amoungst concrete thinkers....
What You See is What is There
- It is entirely up to the viewer to discern the content and meaning of what is painted. It is impossible to discern what the artist had in mind because you do not know whether he was in 'artist mode' or 'human mode' at the time he painted the picture. Just because an artist has a certain background, upbringing, ethnicity, or experiences etc does not mean that everything he does is tempered by those factors. The message or emotion is in the eye of the beholder, not the eye of the creator. The artist's creativity is in drawing out an emotion or an interpretation from the viewer. If this interpretation differs from what was intended by the artist (if indeed anything he intended anything), this in no way invalidates the interpretation placed on the work by any individual viewer.
- —Guest Michael
- I have recently awakened to an interest in abstract art (from realism). This new art interest has stemmed from a wish to interpret what I see rather than merely replicate what I see. With this in mind I see abstract art as being very individualistic with a large emotional component. Therefore, to "understand" abstract art is to look for or attempt to understand the artist's message. I also think it important to be aware of what emotions and thoughts the art evokes in me.
- —Guest Lynne
About the Process
- Abstract art is about the process, not the single work. You have to consider the artist's entire life and body of work. You cannot just jump into making abstract art. You have to earn the right to create it and let abstract art evolve on its own.
- —Guest baron
- I think that abstract art is a window into the soul of the artist; kind of like poetry in color.
- —Guest JamilahAm
- Don't understand why realist painters are so afraid of abstract art. To each their own. I make abstract art for myself. It's my original thought on canvas. Be upset with the camera.
- —Guest Jbc
Future/Past - Known/Unknown
- My real interest is innovation and how it occurs, and to me abstract art better describes innovation than realist art. Not 'abstract art actually describes innovation and realist art never' but 'abstract art better describes'. If I am going to produce a realist image then I already know, essentially, what I am going to place on the canvas, and the result will, hopefully, be recognisable by the viewer. This is because they will know what they are looking at. It is a form of image they have seen before. It is from our past. Showing the future has a problem - we have not yet seen it. To be innovative in the design of a project I have to be able to create something of a type that does not yet exist, that I do not yet even know of. When I do an abstract it has more of this unknown, and the unknown is something I generally relate with the future because it is there I get to learn of it. There is, therefore, no question whether realism or abstract is better or if either is art.
- —Guest TrevorB
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